Devo Plus group calls for 'new Union' if independence rejected

A home rule think tank has outlined a vision for a "new Union" should voters reject independence at the ballot box.

Devo Plus, a cross-party group which campaigns for more devolution short of independence, published its report A New Union on Wednesday afternoon.

The document offers a bluebrint for a retooled relationship between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, with more powers given to the Scottish Parliament.

Former Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP and Devo Plus leader Jeremy Purvis said his group's proposals would offer a "long-term, stable and permanent relationship" between the nations.

He said: "A New Union will be highly significant. Since the launch of Devo Plus at the beginning of this year, parties and other groups have signalled their willingness to move on further powers.

"The blueprint shows in practical detail how they can come together, well in advance of the referendum vote in 2014. It will show what regulations and legislation will be needed to deliver the reforms that would make Holyrood responsible for raising the majority of its revenue by 2020.

"It will also show the vital importance of gaining public awareness of A New Union with a positive message on delivering the long-term, stable and permanent relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK."

The report was launched by Mr Purvis, along with Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson, Scottish Labour MSP Duncan McNeil, Scottish Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott and Ben Thomson, chairman of the Reform Scotland think tank.

Devo Plus is lobbying for the three main Unionist parties to adopt its proposals as part of their campaign for a 'no' vote in the independence referendum.

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